Ranbaxy's second-quarter profit drops 25 percent, beats forecast

Ranbaxy said Friday that second-quarter profit dropped 25 percent to 2.4 billion rupees ($53.7 million), due in part to slowing sales outside its domestic market. However the decline was lower than expected as analysts had forecast profit of 1.8 billion rupees ($43.6 million).

The company, which is majority owned by Daiichi Sankyo, posted sales for the three-month period of 20.6 billion rupees ($460.5 million), down 1.8 percent from the same quarter last year. Ranbaxy noted that revenue in the US reached 4.2 billion rupees ($93.9 million), as growth was affected by the loss of market exclusivity on a generic version of Eisai's Aricept, which the company launched last year.

In the US, Ranbaxy expects to receive 180-day sales exclusivity for a generic version of Pfizer's Lipitor and is targeting a November launch. However, there are doubts over the company's ability to start selling the product on time because it is facing regulatory issues in the US, and the drugmaker could also face pressure from Pfizer, which is reportedly looking to launch an over-the-counter version of the agent. "We remain optimistic on [generic] Lipitor [sales]," remarked managing director Arun Sawhney.

In Europe, quarterly sales increased 15 percent to 3.6 billion rupees ($80.5 million), and the company noted that Romania was "a key driver" with sales of $30 million. In its domestic market, revenue rose 11 percent to 4.8 billion rupees ($107 million), while emerging markets made up 57 percent of total sales in the quarter, Ranbaxy noted.

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